News Article

Engaging Youth on Democracy

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How to engage the youth of the world in politics has become a pressing issue. On the one hand, many see politics as irrelevant, yet the rise of social media has given youth a powerful means to express themselves.

Has the world’s youth given up completely on politics, or are they just over ‘politics as usual’? This is one of the important questions the International Day of Democracy on 15 September will set out to answer at an event entitled ’Engaging young people on democracy’. This will include a live webcast, 13:00-14:45 EST (17:00-18:45 UTC).

Co-sponsored by the ECPS Working Group on Democracy (UN), International Peace Institute (IPI), Community of Democracies (CoD), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and IDEA, the event comes at a time when established and burgeoning democracies alike have seen an upsurge in informal youth led social movements. In addition, they are using innovative organizational techniques to push their political agenda.

The subject will discussed by youth leaders from across the globe, together with UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. Panelists from the Middle East, Central America and North Africa will all contribute insights on how engaging with young people on democracy strengthens work on development, human rights and peace and security.

Furthermore, the event’s themes go hand-in-hand with IDEA’s Annual Democracy Forum held last year in Chile on ‘Youth Participation in Politics and Elections’, where participants discussed the many routes to political participation and representation for young people throughout the world.